Richard Martin, Lord Mayor of London (1534 - 1616)

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Birthplace: London,,,England
Death: Died in London,,,England
Occupation: Lord Mayor of London
Managed by: Bart Wright
Last Updated:

About Richard Martin, Lord Mayor of London

Sir Richard Martin (d. London, July 1617) was an English goldsmith and Master of the Mint who served as Sheriff and twice as Lord Mayor of the City of London during the reign of Elizabeth I.[1]

Contents [hide] 1 Early career 2 Marriage and family 3 Later life 4 Notes 5 References 5.1 Further reading


[edit] Early careerMartin was the son of Thomas Martin, of Saffron Walden, Essex.[2] He was elected a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, one of the Livery Companies or craft guilds of the City of London, in 1558.[3] He was elected alderman for the wards of Farringdon Within 1578-98 and Bread Street 1598-1602. He was Sheriff of London in 1581-2.

Martin was knighted in 1588-89 and served a partial year as Lord Mayor in 1589, succeeding Sir Martin Calthrop who had died in office.[1][4] He was Prime Warden or head of the Goldsmiths' Company 1592-3, chairing the Court of Wardens or governing body of the company, and served a second term as Lord Mayor in 1593-94, succeeding Sir Cuthbert Buckle. His other municipal offices included President of Christ's Hospital and Comptroller-General of Hospitals 1594-1602.[1][4]

Martin was Warden of the Royal Mint by 1572, and was responsible for overseeing the workings of the mint and the quality of the coinage. John Stow's Survey of London records Martin's charges against John Lonyson or Lonison, Master of the Mint, in the 1570s, a matter that was finally weighed by a commission of Privy Council members including Nicholas Bacon, the Lord Keeper, William Cecil, Lord Burghley, the Lord Treasurer, and others,[5] which recommended that

it likewise please her Majesty to give a Discharge unto Richard Martin, now Warden of the Mint, for to reckon and pass the said Lonison's Accompt [account] in form afore-declared. Which Martin they do not find to have done any Thing in this Controversy thereby to have any particular Gain to himself; but the whole Matters alleged by him to have tended to her Majesty's Service; and for discharging of his Duty belonging to the Office.[6] Martin himself succeeded Lonyson as Master of the Mint in 1582, serving in that capacity until his death in 1617.[7]

Martin was an investor in Sir Francis Drake's 1577–80 voyage of circumnavigation and also in Drake's 1585–86 expedition to harass the Spanish ports in the New World. [2]

[edit] Marriage and familyMartin married Dorcas Eccleston (1536/37–1599), daughter of one John Eccleston or Egleston of Lancashire. They had five sons and one daughter.[8]

Dorcas Martin was a translator and bookseller, and both Martins were active in radical religious causes including the Admonition Controversy, part of an effort to encourage the queen to further reform Protestantism in England.[9] In 1573 Dorcas Martin was the licensed bookseller for Thomas Cartwright's A replye to An answere made of M. doctor Whitgifte, a response to John Whitgift's denunciation of Presbyterianism.[10]

Their son Captain John Martin commanded the Benjamin under Drake in the 1585–86 expedition. On his return, John Martin married Mary Brandon (b. 1566), daughter of Robert Brandon, Chamberlain of London, on 23 May 1586 at St Vedast, Foster Lane.[11] John Martin became a Councilman of the Jamestown Colony of Virginia in 1607 and was the proprietor of Martin's Brandon Plantation on the south bank of the James River,[2] apparently named after his wife's family.

Another son, Richard (d. 1616), served with his father as a master-worker at the mint from 1599 to 1607.[12]

Their daughter Dorcas[2] married Sir Julius Caesar, later Chancellor of the Exchequer and Master of the Rolls under James I.[1]

[edit] Later lifeMartin had remained both Warden and Master of the Mint for almost two decades, but following 1597 charges that he was profiteering by delaying repayments he sold his office of Warden to Sir Thomas Knyvet. The two soon fell out, with Knyvet accusing Martin of owing the crown substantial funds and Martin insisting he was owed. Martin was briefly imprisoned for debt,[7] which led to his removal from his Aldermanry on 31 August 1602 on account of his "unfitting demeanour and carriage".[1] Suits and countersuits continued, with the Exchequer finding against Martin in 1607 and a further enquiry finding in his favour in 1615.[13] He died in July 1617, and was buried in Tottenham Church, 30 July 1617. At his death he "was held near a hundred years old".[2] His wife Dorcas had been buried in the same church on 2 September 1599, and his son Richard on 28 May 1616.[2]

[edit] Notes1.^ a b c d e Beavan 2.^ a b c d e f Brown, p. 944 3.^ Martin 1892 p.21 4.^ a b Martin 1892 p.22 5.^ Martin 1892, p. 24 6.^ Strype, John (1720). "TOWER of London. The Mint.". John Stowe's Survey of London. http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/strype/TransformServlet?page=book1_101&display=normal. Retrieved 2008-12-30. 7.^ a b Challis 1992, p. 259 8.^ Dorcas Martin's epitaph reads "Here lyeth Interred the body of Dame DORCAS Martin The late Wife of Sr Richard Martin, Knight twise Lord Mayor of the Cittie of London The Davghter of Iohn Ecclestone of ye Covntie of Lancastar gent who had Issve by the said Sr Rich Martin V sones, & one davght: and deceased Ovt of this mortall life ye first day of Septemb : 1599." See Cansick 1875, p. 52 9.^ McQuade et al. 2008, p. xxiv 10.^ Felch, Susan M. (2003-10-28). "'Noble Gentlewomen famous for their learning': The Public Roles of Women in Elizabethan England". http://www.ucalgary.ca/christchair/files/christchair/Felch_WomeninElizabEng.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-30. 11.^ Currer-Briggs, p. 162 12.^ Challis 1992, p. 262 13.^ Challis 1992, pp. 259-62

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